Book Review: Who is Jesus?

Who is JesusIt has often been said that the single most important question that a Christian can ask is the question posed by this book. Without a robust understanding of both the person, and the work, of Christ… Christianity crumbles. This is most prominently seen with the history of Protestant Liberalism, but even as early as figures like Origin, Nestorius, and Pelagius… a faulty understanding of who Christ is drives soteriological disaster. Today, I review Who is Jesus?, an entry in the Crucial Questions series by RC Sproul, published by Ligonier Trust.

I wish I could say that this was a strong entry in the series, especially since I just set up that this is perhaps the most vital question a Christian must ask. The difficulty with this book is not so much the content of the book, but the organization. It is almost as though the question is too big for such a small entry.

Sproul simply tries to tackle too much. Chapter 1 is basically a review of the historical Jesus controversies which were driven by Enlightenment and Modernist thinking in the 19th and 20th centuries. Mixed in is a bit of a critique of the Postmodern idea that Jesus is whoever you want him to be.

Next, Sproul moves into a section that is a truncated Christology, focusing primarily on the titles of Christ. This section was helpful, but did not seem to be connected to chapter 1.

Finally, Sproul discusses the life and work of Christ by reviewing the accounts of the Gospel.

As I said previously, the book isn’t poorly written… and the content isn’t bad. The book just seems to be too scattered. I often found that I was not exactly sure where a given statement or section fit in the overall movement of Sproul’s thesis. While that might be okay in a 200 page survey or monograph… in a 100 page booklet designed for those who are new to the faith this represents a huge problem.

Please note: Reformation Trust / Ligonier Ministries has provided me with an electronic version of this book for review purposes, and will be providing me with a hard copy edition in exchange for this review. They do not require positive reviews, nor have they edited or modified this review in any way.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Who is Jesus?

  1. Dude, this isn’t a review. You did not even deal with the content of the book. You just shared with us whether you liked the book.

    1. There is a difference between a book review and a book report. Book reviews rarely deal with specific content within the book, and in the length of review that I am asked to do by Ligonier, there isn’t space to go in depth regarding content. The task of a review is to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the book. The strength of this book was that it has good content, the weakness is that that content is not clearly arranged and it is not always clear as to how the content connects to the thesis of the book.

      Also, I did give an outline of the content of the book, so I’m not exactly sure what more you would be looking for.

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